If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

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Where do you place the big hit?

opener
0
No votes
somewhere in the middle
2
29%
closer
4
57%
encore
1
14%
I'd consult with Footy first
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

Bent Fabric
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Bent Fabric » 24 Oct 2018, 00:11

I like the idea of an unplanned encore. I've been in situations where we hadn't expected to get called back, and HAD to think on our feet. A spontaneous moment seems like exactly what the occasion deserves.

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zoomboogity
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby zoomboogity » 24 Oct 2018, 00:38

Bent Fabric wrote:What kind of weirdo goes to see an act with ONE known song?


Either someone who's really ready to give their other material a chance, or someone who scans the local paper and says, "Look, honey, that band who did that song is playing in town tonight. Let's get dressed up, hire a babysitter, and make a big attempt to stand around for an hour until they do that song." Most likely the latter, which is indeed weird.


Bent Fabric wrote:(I don't presume the TT audience are rabid fans of the "body of work", the "deep cuts" or the "style" like you might get with any number of veteran 'one hit acts')


Okay, this sort of ties back to an old thread on the Mojo Boards: Steely Dan vs. The Monkees. I have a video of The Mike & Micky Show that a friend made of the LA show, and other than the performance and set list being top-notch, the audience reactions are loud and clear. The Monkees had four major hits in the '60s, but they only played Last Train To Clarksville early on (second song in the first set). From there, they played popular songs that weren't radio hits, and the audience response was just as enthusiastic - Mary Mary had the women screaming like they were at an Elvis concert, and an acoustic version of Papa Gene's Blues had the whole audience roaring in approval when they got to, "I love you, and I know you love me." They did deep album cuts - As We Go Along, Sunny Girlfriend, The Door Into Summer - the audience loved those too. Even an obscure song from a Nesmith solo album, Grand Ennui, was cheered on every bit as the songs people knew - as the musicians traded off solos, the audience was clearly eating it up. No one was sitting on their hands and thinking, "Jeezus, I don't know what this is, but it's gone on for eight minutes. We don't have all night, we want TEH HITZ!"

By this point, it felt as if the audience was happy with whatever they were getting, and although they did play Daydream Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday and I'm A Believer at the very end, I don't think that many people would have cared if those songs had been left out - "So what? We got Mary Mary, Circle Sky, Sweet Young Thing, You Told Me, You Just May Be The One, Goin' Down... it was great!"

Meanwhile, Steely Dan has been back on the concert circuit for years, but for a band whose audience you would assume has a discerning ear, it doesn't translate to their concerts. They'll try to slip in something like Any Major Dude'll Tell You, and they can tell it just falls flat, so out it goes. Their concert fans just want Teh Hitz, so they're stuck playing the same dozen songs year after year so people can bop around to Peg and Reelin' In The Years and the other ones. Meanwhile, The Monkees are free to do what they want. Funny how things can turn out.
Last edited by zoomboogity on 24 Oct 2018, 02:57, edited 2 times in total.
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Bent Fabric
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Bent Fabric » 24 Oct 2018, 00:54

Seriously!

That Mike and Micky show was anything BUT an oldies show ("Auntie's Municipal Court"!?! "Steam Engine"!?!?), and - yeah, Steely Dan is (at this point) out there playing to an audience who mainly want an extremely specific half dozen songs.

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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby zoomboogity » 24 Oct 2018, 02:40

Bent Fabric wrote:Seriously!

That Mike and Micky show was anything BUT an oldies show ("Auntie's Municipal Court"!?! "Steam Engine"!?!?)


...Some Of Shelly's Blues, Porpoise Song, Nine Times Blue, Steppin' Stone, What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round, Different Drum, Take A Giant Step... St. Matthew, for Pete's sake! And while we're at it, For Pete's Sake! To anyone still hung up in 2018 about whether The Monkees were/are a real band, they could have done a set of Nesmith originals, added a few originals by the other three, and had their set right there.

And Micky Dolenz - jeez, the guy is 74 years old, and he still pulls it off. Mike once said that when the band/show was being assembled, the producers were thinking about putting the focus on Davy, being cute and short and British, but Mike was smitten with Micky's voice from the start, and the writer/producer in him saw that their success would depend on showcasing Micky's voice. With so many great singers in the '60s who are still revered, Micky definitely held his own, and still does. I guess that his experience as a child actor taught him how to "act" (emote) when he sang. He sure could sell a song, even with words like, "Hober reeber sabasoben, hobaseeba snick, seeberraber hobosoben... what did you expect?"

Then there was the stage banter - Mike was hilarious, and so oblique about it that Micky just played along. At one point Micky started to introduce the wrong song (he looked at the set list by his feet and missed one), then when corrected, he says, "Sorry, folks, I jumped ahead of myself." Mike says, "How do you DO that?" Micky shrugs and responds, "Ah, well, you know..." Then Mike does this imitation of someone literally "jumping ahead of himself": he takes a few small steps, pretends that he's about to jump, then sees someone standing next to him (himself), makes the "after you!" motion with his hands, then the other "him" tips his imaginary hat to himself, starts to jump, then gets totally confused. His little pantomime lasted maybe five seconds, it was great how he got all that in.

I'm glad you had as much fun as I did. They've played in LA so often, and I never got around to seeing them. I'm glad I did this time - besides the likelihood that they may be hanging it up soon (the last few shows were cancelled because Nesmith had to undergo quadruple bypass heart surgery), this time we got just Mike and Micky, and let's face it, they're all we need anyway. Nothing wrong with Davy, except for those drippy songs they'd saddle him with, and there are only so many "restroom break" songs we need. And while Peter was always proficient on several instruments, it was nothing that couldn't be done by the musicians they had with them. And we sure didn't miss his singing. "Yeah, but... but... Your Auntie Grizelda, dude." Yeah, everyone was clamoring for that one. It was a nearly perfect set in my mind - the only ones I genuinely missed were Tapioca Tundra, Daily Nightly and Star Collector. But yeah, Auntie's Municipal Court. Yehhhhhh, baby!


Bent Fabric wrote:yeah, Steely Dan is (at this point) out there playing to an audience who mainly want an extremely specific half dozen songs.


I tell my friend Steve that his SD tribute band, Pretzel Logic, could be described as "Steely Dan with a better set list"! Unlike the real SD, they have the luxury of digging into the catalogue, and the audience loves it when they do Only A Fool Would Say That, Rose Darling, Fire In The Hole (they did that one last week for the first time in years). They've been at it since 2001, and they probably have about... okay, hold on, let me add this up...

Okay, AFAIK, they do about 50 songs off the first seven albums (including everything on The Royal Scam and Aja), a couple solo Fagen songs, maybe two or three from the last two SD albums. They've had a residency at an upscale restaurant/jazz club in Seal Beach, third Friday of every month, and they pack the room every time. We were hanging afterwards with a couple who said they drove up from San Diego (a two-and-a-half-hour drive) to see them, simply by doing a youtube search on "steely dan tribute band" and finding some of their clips. They said they're going to make a habit of this.

I'm not a tribute band kind of guy, but these are my friends, and they do a great job, even adding a party atmosphere. There are lots of SD tribute bands, but this is one of the few to whom Becker and Fagen have actually given their approval. (I don't think they said it publicly, a friend of Donald and Walter came to one of their shows and told them.) They even have a "family connection" in their bass player, Jake Feldman, whose father Victor is the only person besides Becker and Fagen to play on their first seven albums. Other than my friend Steve, who organized the band, Jake is the one person who's been there from the start in 2001. Musically and personally, the guy has been a rock, God love him.

In the end, it gets to back to music as energy. The other musicians have their other gigs, so they do this for the fun of it, plus that thing that happens when you're surrounded by people who genuinely love each other, and that feeling just radiates off the stage. Hey, we're all too old to be snobs about this stuff anymore, get it where you can find it. "LISTEN to the band!"

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GoogaMooga
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby GoogaMooga » 24 Oct 2018, 02:53

My one shot at the Monkees was Wembley Arena some twenty years ago. It was only Micky and Davy, and I was a bit skeptical - could they pull it off? It was a great show, they had the audience in the palm of their hand. With such personalities and such a back catalog, you can bring it off.
1966 and all that

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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Bent Fabric » 24 Oct 2018, 03:45

An act with a number of beloved signature songs (3 or more, let's say) will occasionally open with (arguably) THE BIG ONE, which strikes me as a fantastic "power move" - as if to say, "Yeah, we're gonna kick so much ass tonight, we don't even need to strategically withhold our biggest number."

It's the sort of thing you get from people like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Queen, Kiss, Rush (boy - there is assuredly a contingent here whom I am not really selling on this idea), or David Bowie. I've seen several of these acts do it, I've seen tribute bands do it - and it really does establish a meaningful ambiance of confidence and celebration.

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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby GoogaMooga » 24 Oct 2018, 03:55

The ideal opener for Rolling Stones is of course "Start Me Up", but I seem to recall maybe either Satisfaction or JJF as well.
1966 and all that

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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Muskrat » 24 Oct 2018, 06:34

zoomboogity wrote:At one point Micky started to introduce the wrong song (he looked at the set list by his feet and missed one), then when corrected, he says, "Sorry, folks, I jumped ahead of myself." Mike says, "How do you DO that?" Micky shrugs and responds, "Ah, well, you know..." Then Mike does this imitation of someone literally "jumping ahead of himself": he takes a few small steps, pretends that he's about to jump, then sees someone standing next to him (himself), makes the "after you!" motion with his hands, then the other "him" tips his imaginary hat to himself, starts to jump, then gets totally confused. His little pantomime lasted maybe five seconds, it was great how he got all that in.


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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby zoomboogity » 24 Oct 2018, 10:16

At least until the quadruple bypass. Then, it might be a good idea to cut back on the ham and cheese sandwiches.

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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Deebank » 24 Oct 2018, 11:26

This is something I've had to grapple with, sort of.

Even when you haven't got a 'hit' you have tunes that you think are your best and will grab the crowd's (if you have a crowd) attention.

When you represent an unknown quantity to the audience I reckon it's best to front-load your set with the accessible stuff and if need be you can always play the best tune(s) again as an encore. In the case of the bands I've been in, we've never really had tonnes of songs anyway.

The problem with the last band I was in is that the drummer thought it was best to play our weirdest, noisiest most 'difficult' effort first to blow people's minds. Me and the bass player thought we should have a backdrop with "It's meant to sound like this!" written on it for that tune and were somewhat uneasy pitching it in early doors. I was more inclined to bury it mid set. Of course it depends on what sort of crowd you're playing to... Our own crowd (such as it was) revelled in the weirdness, but playing to ageing indie couples when we supported The Pop Guns it proved about as popular as a pork pie at a bar mitzvah.
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby harvey k-tel » 24 Oct 2018, 12:18

Deebank wrote:
The problem with the last band I was in is that the drummer thought it was best to play our weirdest, noisiest most 'difficult' effort first to blow people's minds. Me and the bass player thought we should have a backdrop with "It's meant to sound like this!" written on it for that tune and were somewhat uneasy pitching it in early doors. I was more inclined to bury it mid set. Of course it depends on what sort of crowd you're playing to... Our own crowd (such as it was) revelled in the weirdness, but playing to ageing indie couples when we supported The Pop Guns it proved about as popular as a pork pie at a bar mitzvah.


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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Deebank » 24 Oct 2018, 13:26

harvey k-tel wrote:
Deebank wrote:
The problem with the last band I was in is that the drummer thought it was best to play our weirdest, noisiest most 'difficult' effort first to blow people's minds. Me and the bass player thought we should have a backdrop with "It's meant to sound like this!" written on it for that tune and were somewhat uneasy pitching it in early doors. I was more inclined to bury it mid set. Of course it depends on what sort of crowd you're playing to... Our own crowd (such as it was) revelled in the weirdness, but playing to ageing indie couples when we supported The Pop Guns it proved about as popular as a pork pie at a bar mitzvah.


Pretentious bastards.


Correct in every case.
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby sloopjohnc » 24 Oct 2018, 19:23

Deebank wrote:When you represent an unknown quantity to the audience I reckon it's best to front-load your set with the accessible stuff and if need be you can always play the best tune(s) again as an encore. In the case of the bands I've been in, we've never really had tonnes of songs anyway.


An interesting dilemma if you aren't headlining as most of the audience is going to wander in at the end of your set.

If at all.
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Re: If you were to play a concert, where would you place your biggest hit?

Postby Deebank » 24 Oct 2018, 20:44

sloopjohnc wrote:
Deebank wrote:When you represent an unknown quantity to the audience I reckon it's best to front-load your set with the accessible stuff and if need be you can always play the best tune(s) again as an encore. In the case of the bands I've been in, we've never really had tonnes of songs anyway.


An interesting dilemma if you aren't headlining as most of the audience is going to wander in at the end of your set.

If at all.


... if all all.

Best just to treat it as a rehearsal sometimes.
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